News

Analyzing a Facebook-fueled anti-vaccination attack: 'It's not all about autism'

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Research led by Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) finds that anti-vaccination arguments on social media aren't all about autism, but instead center on four distinct themes that can appeal to diverse audiences, offering a framework that pediatricians can use to open a conversation with parents who are hesitant to immunize their children.   

Fabisiak explains how sulfur dioxide affects the human body

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WESA FM - It’s been more than three months since a fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works significantly increased emissions of sulfur dioxide, and Mon Valley residents say it's still affecting their quality of life.  On the debut of a new occasional series, "Moment of Science," 90.5 WESA’s Liz Reid talked with EOH's Jim Fabisiak about how sulfur dioxide affects the human body.  

Kuller receives 2019 Peter J. Safar Pulse of Pittsburgh award

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EPI’s Lewis Kuller was honored at the Pittsburgh Heart Ball for his groundbreaking contributions to the study of cardiovascular disease. When presenting the award, Anne Newman, chair of the department, said that Kuller "always challenged current public health knowledge through research and interventions designed to stimulate major advances in public health and prevention."   

Celedón comments on asthma taking a harder toll on african-americans.

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Pittwire - Epi’s Dr. Juan Celedón comments on research that shows that a set of genetic mutations found mostly in people of African ancestry may make them less likely to respond to albuterol, the most-prescribed asthma drug in the world. Asthma hits African-Americans particularly hard, and the health care system often fails them. CDC estimates 15.3 percent of black children have the disease compared with 7.1 percent of white children.  

Costacou finds menarche heightens overt nephropathy risk in type 1 diabetes

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HEALIO – "A major question of concern in type 1 diabetes is the association of age at menarche with glycemic control; however, studies evaluating the impact of glycemic control on the age at menarche in young women with type 1 diabetes have provided conflicting results," said EPI’s Tina Costacou, finding that nephropathy is more likely to develop in women with type 1 diabetes who are older at age of menarche compared with those who are younger. ... 

Manzi named 2019 John E. McGrady Award Winner

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Congratulations to Susan Manzi (EPI '92) for being honored with the Catholic Youth Association's 2019 John E. McGrady Award. She was honored at the 45th Annual Art Rooney Dinner and Auction on April 29, 2019. Manzi is chair of Allegheny Health Network Medicine Institute and is an international leader in lupus patient care and research. The award recognizes individuals who are dedicated to community service.   

Peddada attends meeting for BRuSH in Norway

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BIOST's Shyamal Peddada attended the kick-off meeting for the Oral Bacteria as determinants for ReSpiratory Health (BRuSH) in March at the Solstrand Hotel in Norway. The meeting was organized by Randi Jacobsen Bertelsen in the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Norway.   

Raviotta, Zimmerman, Nowalk on the best time to get a flu shot

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BCHS's Richard Zimmerman and Jonathan Raviotta (BCHS '18) and Patricia Nowalk (EPI '81, '93) are among those who recently published research that says that hundreds of deaths can likely be avoided if older adults wait until October to get their flu immunization. Since the protection offered by the vaccine wanes as the season progresses, waiting until closer to the start of the season ensures greater immunity.   

Gollin attends PBCC event celebrating Wendie Berg

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HUGEN's Susanne Gollin, a past recipient, was invited to participate in an event this month to celebrate Wendie Berg winning one of this year's PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) research grants to support her breast cancer diagnostic imaging research, bringing the total that PBCC has awarded to researchers at Pitt and UPMC to over one million dollars. Gollin was gifted with a PBCC lab coat.   

Mendez among those discussing maternal mortality rate in Pitt Med's podcast

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PITT WIRE - As estimated 700 to 900 U.S. women die of complications related to childbirth each year, and at least 60,000 women nearly die of pregnancy-related complications. And African American mothers are four times more likely to die or nearly die. Hear perspectives from EPI's Dara Mendez and three fellow experts on the alarming pregnancy-related death rate of new mothers and what can be done to save more lives.   

Scott is new president of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital

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SSM Health has named Steven M. Scott (HADM '85) as president after he's served as interim president since January. In this role, he is responsible for leading the 356-bed academic medical center that specializes in organ transplant, advanced cancer therapies, and trauma services.   

Stacy wins Scholar-in-Training Award

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Shaina Stacy (EOH '15), a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Epidemiology, received the Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research for her work Early Life Risk Factors and Childhood Cancer Risk. The award supports travel to the AACR annual meeting in Atlanta.   

What drives 'anti-vaxxer' parents? It's a mixed bag, Hoffman shows

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - People who voice their anti-vaccine sentiments online range from conspiracy theorists to parents who have safety worries or interests in alternative medicine. Investigators, including Beth Hoffmann (BCHS '19), came to that conclusion after looking into a viral Facebook attack targeting a Pittsburgh pediatric practice that posted a video encouraging HPV vaccination.   

A Multisite Case Study of Caregive Advise, Record, Enable Act Implementation

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THE GERONTOLOGIST - Leighton C, Fields B, Rodakowski JL, Feiler C, Hawk M, Bellon JE, James AE's results showed that organizational context and electronic health record capability were instrumental to the CARE Act implementation and integration into workflow. This study can help to inform others as they design and improve their compliance and implementation strategies.   

BCHS's Hawk and Gary-Webb participate in event honoring recently promoted women faculty

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BCHS associate professors Mary Hawk and Tiffany Gary-Webb participated in the provost's recent event, “A Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty.” Sponsored by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns (PACWC), the event featured a panel of accomplished women professors offering perspectives and advice for successful academic careers and then introduced the recently promoted women among the faculty. The event was part of Pitt's on... 

Pitt MHA rises in national rankings

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US NEWS & WORLD REPORT- In the 2020 rankings of best graduate schools, Pitt's Master of Health Administration (MHA) program surged from 29th to 17th nationally among programs in health care management. The move was one of the largest in the country, positioning the Pitt MHA as the highest-ranked program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

Pyne to give inaugural Dipankar Chakraborti Memorial Lecture

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BIOST's Saumyadipta Pyne, scientific director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, will deliver the first lecture in the series on geostatistical prediction models in public health at Jadavpur University in India on March 15, 2019.   

Everette James appointed to serve as interim dean

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Sr. Vice Chancellor Levine announced his appointment of Everette James as interim dean, effective upon the stepping down of Dean Donald Burke on July 1, 2019. "I am confident that Everette will provide strong leadership for the school during this important transition period." Levine also appointed Eleanor Feingold as executive associate dean, working "with Everette to build upon GSPH’s history of excellence in education, research, and community ... 

Gellad talks about rising cost of prescription drugs

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MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO - Americans spend more on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world, a fact attributed to the ever rising costs of pharmaceuticals. HPM's Walid Gellad discusses a recent Congressional hearing, in which pharmaceutical executives claim that their hands are tied by the current health care system, and that they need profits to fund new research.  

Wenzel identifies corticosteroid response phenotypes for severe asthma

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MEDPAGE TODAY - With the aid of a computational tool, Wenzel says they have identified key phenotypes among patients with severe asthma that can help predict who may benefit and not benefit from treatment with systemic corticosteroids (CS). Aware of the possible side effects, EOH's Sally Wenzel said, “physicians would like to prescribe them only to patients they know will benefit from them.”  

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Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal 

Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal

PITT WIRE -  Chris Taylor (SHRS ’04, EPI ’10) originally started baking as a way to relax while studying at Pitt Public Health. After entering, and winning, their first competition on a whim, Taylor and husband Paul Arguin, who are both epidemiologists at the CDC, continued baking and competing as ... (09/11/2019)
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Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award 

Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award

Congratulations to HPM's Walid Gellad, who was recently named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exc... (08/12/2019)
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EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe. 

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rath... (08/05/2019)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth 

Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - There is a dearth of scientifically investigated, evidence-based interventions to address substance use, mental health conditions and violence victimization in sexual and gender minority youth, according to a research review led by BCHS's Robert Coulter (BCHS '17) published in... (08/25/2019)
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El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries 

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause-related symptoms, and new research from EPI's Samar El Khoudary reinforces the importance of tailoring hormone therapy to each patient, based on her individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In a study p... (08/25/2019)

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders 

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The death rate from drug- and alcohol-related causes in people who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is nearly triple that of the general public, according to research led by EPI's Wendy King. The study also found that fewer than half of those who died had triggered a sa... (06/27/2019)